A new neon commission for Kadist by Amy Balkin. On view through the summer, the work speaks to San Francisco and Folsom Street's complex relationship with the data-mining industry, one that starts with software development and ends with survellience.
I (heart) Data Mining, 2012
A special commission of Kadist
By Amy Balkin
Data mining is a computer software process that can involve the neutral or benign analyzing of data for patterns, but data mining also implies the more sinister activities of surveillance or subject-based information gathering. From the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping at AT&T’s Folsom Street, San Francisco location (by splitting fiber optic lines carrying Internet backbone traffic) to the targeting and tracking of individuals for commercial or political purposes, most internet users have no knowledge of these invisible programs that capture and process the information traveling through computer networks.
Who (hearts) data? I do.
Who (hearts) data mining? Most everyone, since the ramifications of new knowledge patterns found in masses of previously uncollectible or un-parsable data allow for new insights and new types of social connectedness.
Who (hearts) data mining? Anyone who profits off of it, or uses it to political ends, such as Facebook, Investigative Data Warehouse, Apple Computer, The Department of Homeland Security, Narus, Target, Twitter, Project Narwhal, or now-shut programs like ADVISE, which in 2006 “was capable of analyzing one billion pieces per hour of ‘structured’ information, such as databases, and one million pieces per hour of ‘unstructured’ information, such as intelligence reports, emails or news articles.” 1
— Amy Balkin
I (heart) Data Mining, 2012 will be on view through August 31, 2012.